Osteoarthritis Signs & Symptoms

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of the joints characterized by pain and inflammation. During the natural aging process, bones become weak and cartilage wears down. With this disease, the cartilage wears down so extensively that it exposes bones. The bones rub against each other and bone spurs develop as a result. Currently, there are a number of diagnostic tests available for osteoarthritis. While osteoarthritis can impact any joint of the body, it tends to be localized and symptoms usually affect only the arthritic joints.

(If you have been struggling with this disease, then you might be interested in learning about our osteoarthritis clinical trials in DeLand, FL.)

The arthritic pain associated with osteoarthritis worsens when pressure is places on the aching joint and when it is moving. Also, many OA patients experience exacerbated pain in humidity and before rain. Contrary to prevalent belief, fatigue and joint weakness are not osteoarthritis symptoms, and are not indicative of the disease if they are experienced.

During the early stages of OA, joints should feel relief when not in motion. It is common for joints to ache even when stationary in later stages of the disease. Following periods of rest, joints may become stiff and hard to move. Joint stiffness is especially common in the morning.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis generally progress slowly over tens of years. It is normal for patients to experience no symptoms of their disease while in the early stages of osteoarthritis , especially if they are under the age of forty. Since the disease advances so gradually, patients may not realize for many years that they have medical symptoms.

Symptoms of OA include the following:

  • Joint pain
  • Joint inflammation
  • Joint stiffness
  • Morning joint stiffness
  • Joint tenderness
  • Bone spurs
  • Joint malformation
  • Limited range of joint motion
  • Muscle spasms
  • Crepitus (cracking noise in joints)
  • Tendon contractions
  • Worsening manual dexterity
  • Worsening coordination
  • Joint buckling
  • Unstable joints
  • Joint locking
  • Poor posture

As a localized disease, cases of osteoarthritis are characterized differently for each type of affected joint. Symptoms for OA in the wrist joint, for example, may very well present differently than the affected knee. Generally, joints that bear a lot of weight and perform a lot of movement (such as the hips and knees) are more commonly affected with osteoarthritis than others.

Osteoarthritis of the hip joint is generally characterized by pain in the hip, and may also be present in the groin, buttocks and knees. It is common for patients to limp and lose full range of motion in their hips. OA may affect one or both hips together. Osteoarthritis of the hip is a common form of OA because the hip bears so much weight and performs so much motion.

Patients that experience osteoarthritis of the knee joint often find the disease to be debilitating. Swelling and limited range of motion of the knees are both common symptoms. Osteoarthritis of the knees is a commonly experienced form of OA because the knees bear a lot of weight and are involved in much mobility.

Fingers affected by osteoarthritis may develop cysts and become malformed. Shoulders affected by OA were usually previously injured. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder may cause stiffness in the neck and shoulder. Pinched nerves, lower back pain, pain in the neck, trouble swallowing, numbness, muscle spasms, muscle weakness and loss of mobility characterize OA of the spine. These types of osteoarthritis are less commonly experienced than those of the hips and knees.

If joint pain lasts for as long as two to three weeks or if it is so intense that you cannot move the affected joint or bone, call your doctor right away. OA patients should have regular check ups to monitor the condition of their bones, joints and overall health. It is important to follow your doctor’s orders and take your medications in order to treat your symptoms and prevent the disease from worsening.

If you think you may have osteoarthritis, call your healthcare professional and schedule an appointment with a doctor. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about your symptoms and medical history. Osteoarthritis is treatable, so take action and get your case of OA under control.

 

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